In the movie section of this week’s Reader, we spotlight three high-profile new releases: the star-studded movie version of Tracy Letts’s play August: Osage County; The Past, the French-language debut of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation); and Lone Survivor, Peter Berg’s dramatization of a 2005 Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan. Survivor is the subject of this week’s long review, which argues that Berg’s depiction of the U.S. armed forces has more in common with Hollywood war movies of the 1940s than with most war movies of the past 30 years.
We also have new reviews of: Papadopoulous & Sons, a British comedy that kicks off this year’s edition of Greek Film Fest Chicago; The Selfish Giant, a hard-hitting social drama by documentarian Clio Barnard (The Arbor); These Birds Walk, an artful nonfiction feature about a humanitarian facility in Karachi, Pakistan; and two locally produced documentaries screening in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s series “Stranger Than Fiction,” A Song for You and Spilled Water.
There are plenty of fine revival screenings this week. The Music Box has weekend matinees of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1924 silent melodrama Changing Husbands and Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace, as well as midnight screenings of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on Friday and Saturday. Doc Films has two early Katherine Hepburn movies on Monday, Morning Glory and A Bill of Divorcement (the latter having been rescheduled from last Monday), and two showings of Brian De Palma’s Sisters on Wednesday. The Siskel Center is screening two classics by Ingmar Bergman, Persona (on Sunday at 3 and 6:30 PM and on Monday at 6 PM) and Cries and Whispers (on Sunday at 4:45 PM and on Wednesday at 6 PM).
Lastly, there are several special film-related events taking place around town this week. Tonight at 8 and 9:30 PM, local underground filmmaker Joseph R. Lewis will screen two of his projects, The Adventures of Miss Girl and Sci Fi Sol, at Chicago Filmmakers (more info here). On Saturday at Lincoln Hall at 6 PM, another local underground filmmaker, Chester N. Turner, will take part in a screening and discussion of his 1987 horror anthology Tales From the Quadead Zone. On Monday at 7:30 PM, JB Mabe will present a program of locally produced shorts at the Extinct Entities Festival at Links Hall, “a monthlong series of performances, lectures and screenings that engage the various spirits of Chicago’s artistic past.” And on Thursday at 4:30 PM, the Reader‘s own J.R. Jones will take part in a panel discussion at the Gene Siskel Film Center about this year’s Oscar nominees, which will be announced next week.